Staying Safe and Healthy During COVID-19
The coronavirus is a serious disease that has taken the lives of just over 113 thousand people worldwide. However, it is far from the worst pandemic the world has seen. In 1918-1919, just over a century ago, the Spanish Flu infected 500 million people, which was one-third of the population at the time, and 50 million people died. By comparison, the coronavirus has infected 0.4% of that figure at just less than 1.9 million people.
So while the coronavirus pales in comparison to the Spanish Flu pandemic, certain people do need to take the threat very seriously. For example, those with compromised immune systems, such as those on chemotherapy, those with HIV, or those taking certain medications that lower the immune system and their family members need to take special care. Also, the CDC has identified that people with certain underlying health conditions are also at greater risk of death from Coronavirus, such as those with heart conditions, asthma, COPD, the elderly.
The CDC recommends that people who are considered high risk and their family members take the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently, but especially after you have been in a public place, used the restroom, cough or, sneezed.
- Avoid close contact.
Stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you do have to venture out, stay 6 feet away from others and do not visit relatives who may be at high risk.
- Cover your face.
Use a mask if you do venture out for groceries. The mask is intended to prevent you from infecting others in case you are infected but have no symptoms.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
If you have to cough or sneeze, do so into your elbow to reduce the spread of germs and to prevent contaminating your hands.
- Disinfect your space.
Keep your home clean by using disinfectant cleaning solutions that contain soap. You can use diluted bleach as a disinfectant. Simply mix 1/3 cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water.
- Stay informed.
Check the CDC website and your local news daily for the latest guidance and restrictions.
As we near the end of this pandemic and life begins to return to normal, be sure to heed the recommendations of officials to prevent a second wave of the disease.